On election, survey shows Florida Jews are like other Jews


Recently disclosed survey data from Gallup found that President Obama had 70 percent support among Jews, with Mitt Romney at 25 percent

While plenty of folks have been watching the Jewish voe like hawks, in reality the national Jewish vote – much of it concentrated in solid blue states like New York, California, Illinois, Massachusetts and New Jersey – isn’t all that important.

What matters is the Jewish vote in a few swing states, foremost among them Florida.

And while there has been plenty of speculation about how Florida Jews will vote, there hasn’t been much hard data – until now.

The American Jewish Committee has released a survey of Jewish registered voters in Florida, and it turns out their leanings are pretty close to the national Gallup data: 69 percent for Obama and 25 percent for Romney. (According to the survey, half the undecideds are leaning Obama, half are leaning toward “undecided” and 0 percent are leaning toward Romney.


According to AJC, 76 percent of Florida Jews voted for Obama in 2008, but I haven’t been able to track down their source yet on that.

Granted, the survey size is not huge — 254 registered Jewish voters — and AJC did not divulge a margin of error for the survey, which was conducted earlier this month by QEV Analytics.

Still, there is some interesting stuff: The top priorities for Jewish voters are domestic issues. A majority (54 percent say the economy is the most important issue in determining how they will vote, with health care a distant second at 16 percent. Only 5 percent say that U.S.-Israel relations is their top issue, and only 1 percent say the Iranian nuclear program is. Even when queried about their second and third most important issues, Iran yielded miniscule results.  (But 79 percent said they were “very concerned” about the prospect of Iran getting nuclear weapons.) Higher numbers cited U.S.-Israel relations as their second or third most important issue.

Majorities of Florida Jews approved of President Obama’s handling of every issue. He did best on national security, health care, Social Security and abortion. His disapproval levels were highest – around a third or slightly higher – on the Iranian nuclear issue (36 percent), U.S.-Israel relations (33 percent) and the economy (33 percent).

It’s not clear what the relatively low priority assigned to Iran means for Republican efforts to peel off Jewish votes in Florida by highlighting that issue, such as this new ad campaign.

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